- Scientists at Duke University are using an unlikely vaccine to boost glioblastoma immunotherapy efforts: Tetanus shots.
- Preliminary studies have shown that in best-case scenarios, expected life span for patients diagnosed with glioblastoma can increase from roughly one year to almost five years.
- Using "booster shots" of vaccines impregnated with immunotherapeutic materials also helps attack the small tumors that often break off from the original tumor and take root throughout the body.
The fact that the researchers at Duke are currently focusing on glioblastoma is very encouraging, especially considering the fact that this brain cancer, which affects roughly 4,000 Americans per year, is deadly, with a life expectancy after diagnosis of barely one year.
In a study of 12 patients of patients with glioblastoma, who received surgery and standard-care chemotherapy, addition of Duke's immunotherapy vaccines lived on average 26 months—more than double the regular life expectancy. The next step for the researchers is to broaden this trial and then move on to other types of cancer.